Malawian President Mutharika dies after heart attack

April 7th, 2012 - 4:32 pm ICT by BNO News  

LILONGWE, MALAWI (BNO NEWS) — Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika died after experiencing a heart attack on Thursday, the government confirmed on Saturday. He was 78.

Following the heart attack, Mutharika had been reported in a critical condition after being taken to a hospital in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe. The exact time of death was not immediately known, as government officials gave conflicting reports about his condition until Saturday.

Malawian Vice-President Joyce Banda is set to be sworn in as the country’s new leader. Some members of the ruling party had reportedly tried to change the constitution in order to avoid Banda becoming president, but she is expected to take over until the end of the presidential term in 2014.

Local media reports said Mutharika’s body has been flown out to South Africa, where he could have received specialized medical treatment, although the exact location of his remains is unknown.

Mutharika, of Thyolo, in the southern region of Malawi, was first elected president in May 2004 and was later re-elected in the 2009 presidential elections.

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